The Masaka City Council Roads Committee has resolved to remove old bitumen and concrete materials in shopping lanes and pedestrian walks, to have them replaced with movable concrete pavers.
Pedestrian walkways and shopping lanes in Masaka City are dotted with potholes and uneven terrain that remained after the old tarmac used to fix them outlived its period, hence being messed up by either surface runoffs or moving vehicles.
Augustine Turibalungi, the City Principal Works Engineer says they have now opted to remodel the worn-out shopping lanes, pedestrian pathways street parking lanes with pavers instead of the traditional asphalt material.
He says the idea was seconded during a stakeholders meeting of the City Roads Committee which considered it as a viable alternative in terms of cost and durability.
He indicates that they agreed to pilot the innovation in the central business area of the city, using the resources allocated them under the Uganda Road Fund scheme.
According to figures at the Ministry of Finance, Masaka City Council was allocated One billion shillings under the Uganda Road Fund program to cater for routine roads maintenance in the urban local government.
Florence Namayanja, the Masaka City Mayor indicates that their assessment established that the repairing of old tarmac would no longer be of value because the munch of the material on the pathways and lanes outlived their initial design and bitumen used in patch up was only staying for a very short period.
According to her, the idea also enables them to share direct benefits the city among the residents, saying that the money for materials will be paid to local manufacturers who are residents.
“We want to have a city that has got attractive designs of our roads and streets such that people can feel the significance of having a city they clamored for,” she says.
Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, the Member of Parliament of Nyendo-Mukungwe division and member to Masaka City Roads Committee, sees the idea as a cheaper possibility of ridding the town of dust that usually affects businesses during sunny days.
He adds that unlike bitumen, the pavers can easily allow for nondestructive repairs on other utility lines and service infrastructure that are usually laid beneath the roads.
Meanwhile, Doctor Abed Bwanika, the MP for Kimanya-Kabonera division and Chairperson of the City Roads Committee has tasked the works department to move and open all community access roads to avoid possibilities of people constructing buildings in them.